Artichokes with brandade of salt cod (Αγκιναρες με μπρανταδα μπακαλιαρου)

Artichokes! One of my most, most loved vegetables. Most commonly associated with springtime markets, did you know they have more than one season? My local market was flush with a bounty of locally grown beauties and it is only mid-winter here in Sydney. Happily, here in Australia as well as the more common September crop, there is also a limited winter crop of artichokes. Unlike their springtime cousins, who will keep reproducing artichokes from the same plant, winter artichokes are a one hit wonder and need to be replanted each season. 

One of my favourite ways to enjoy artichokes is when they are filled with aromatic, herb and tomato flavoured rice. A traditional Zakynthian recipe from my mother in law's kitchen (you can find the recipe here). Taking inspiration from this dish, I decided my recent purchase of artichokes should also be stuffed - but instead of rice, I chose the more decadent filling of brandade of salt cod (Μπραντάδα μπακαλιάρου), enriched with a little creme fraiche and potato (plus extra garlic if you are so inclined). While the artichokes do take a little time to prepare, this recipe is fairly quick to make if you happen to have a stash of pre-prepared brandade on hand. 

These artichokes are a wonderfully messy and tactile thing to eat! Working through the outside layers, one by one, you can take a little of the filling as you go - or save it all until they end to enjoy with the prized artichoke heart.

Artichokes with brandade of salt cod (Αγκινάρες με μπραντάδα μπακαλιάρου)

Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves: 2-3


3 fresh artichokes, cleaned, trimmed (choke removed) and halved 
1 tablespoon of crème fraîche
1 lemon, zested 
2 starchy potatoes, boiled and put through a food mill
2-3 garlic cloves (or to taste), crushed garlic 
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley 
Salt and pepper, to taste 


1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil with one halved lemon. Add the artichokes and reduce to a simmer and cook until tender (about 30 minutes). 

2. While the artichokes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the brandade of salt cod, pureed potatoes, creme fraiche, lemon zest, crushed garlic, chopped parsley and a drizzle of EVOO in a bowl.Mix the filling well to combine, season to taste. 

3. When the artichokes are cooked through, drain to remove any excess water. Place the artichoke halves in an earthenware dish, which has been first drizzled with a little EVOO. Fill each artichoke centre with a tablespoon (or more depending on how large the artichoke is) with the salt cod filling. Once all of the artichokes are filled, drizzle with a little EVOO and season with salt and pepper. 

4. Place the dish of artichokes under a grill for 15 minutes or until the filling becomes bubbly and golden brown. Serve with crusty bread and a fresh green salad. 

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Maira Gall